‘Suburgatory’ Character Jumps From the Show Into Ad Breaks — Is This the Future of the TV Business?

Oct 17, 2012  •  Post A Comment

As part of a trend designed to get viewers of television programming to stick around for the commercials, ABC’s “Suburgatory” is letting a character from the show stray into commercials for Lowe’s, Advertising Age reports.

“TV networks are allowing characters from the shows to stick around for a while and hawk product,” the piece reports. “On Wednesday, Sheila Shay, a butt-insky neighbor known for the attention she dollops on her garden, home and the lives of those living around her in the sitcom’s fictional suburb of Chatswin, will hold forth on the advantages of buying goods at Lowe’s and using the home-improvement retail chain’s MyLowe’s tool to track purchases and organize their homes.”

"This is what all of our clients are asking for, and it’s only going to increase," says Claudia Cahill, chief content officer at Omnicom Group’s OMD, which helped put the deal together on Lowe’s behalf. "It’s just the future of the business."

The report adds: “The simple truth is that TV fans don’t tune in to see the ads; they switch the set on (or seek out programming on digital devices) to see the shows themselves. By taking specific characters from favorite programs and letting them loose as pitchmen in the commercial breaks, advertisers and TV networks hope to keep couch potatoes’ gaze upon the screen and their hands off the remote or mouse or iPhone home button.”

Click here to read Ad Age’s in-depth report.


  1. This isn’t a new idea. They did this in the 50s & 60s all the time. Lucy and Desi pitching Phillip Morris cigarettes…Andy Griffith and Danny Thomas pitching for Post cereals, in character. I remember the ads being almost as entertaining as the shows themselves.

  2. … and the Beverly Hill Billies promoted Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and Campbells Soup. It was always in the kitchen and in the last break of the show. Very effective too, I might add, as I remember so much about it.

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